35,000 Steps to Fighting Hunger

By Jim Morris

As I hit ‘the wall’ around mile 22 during today’s California International Marathon, I felt pretty beat up, with the better part of an hour of running still to do. Much of my lucidity gave way to putting one foot in front of the other as the State Capitol finish line beckoned.

What buoyed me to the finish line was that this run was the exclamation point on a team effort that provided significant help to the Union Gospel Mission Sacramento. For more than a half century, the Mission has provided food, shelter, love, dignity and an infusion of faith to the homeless in our area.

Images running through my mind on Sunday included the hauntingly powerful face on the side of their van.

I also thought about their cafeteria, envisioning all of the people waiting to have a hot meal, perhaps their first in a very long time.

I remembered visiting with Adam, who, through his time at the Mission, is making such great strides towards a happy, productive life.

Many thanks to those who contributed to this effort, which will supply about 650 meals for the homeless! My deep appreciation to California rice farmers and mills, Tracy Titus and Eric Grotenhuis at Page Design, Julie Reinhardt at Jack Nadel and Johanne Owens. Many others lifted me in their thoughts and prayers, and for that I am grateful and blessed.

The pain of this marathon will be temporary. Our homeless situation is here for the long run. Especially during the Christmas season, my hope is we all work together to make a difference, one step at a time.

“Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me.”

Singer/Songwriter Matthew West

                                                                                                                                      *Running photo by Brian Baer


Jim Morris is Communications Manager for the California Rice Commission. Jim has worked in communications for more than 20 years. When he’s not on the job, he enjoys his family, faith, football, outrageous monster stories and running marathons.